Bankruptcy Filings May Become More Challenging for Small Businesses

The expiration of Subchapter V, a type of bankruptcy protection that eased the process for small businesses with less than $3 million in debt, means that small businesses will now face more complex and costly bankruptcy procedures. Initially enacted in 2020 and expanded to cover up to $7.5 million in debt during the pandemic, this provision saw higher success rates for reorganization plans but failed to become permanent, leading to a reversion of the debt limit on June 21. To read more, see this article in AP News.

Fighting First Party Fraud

America’s small businesses face unprecedented opportunities and challenges, particularly in combating a potential 40% increase in “friendly fraud” and “first-party fraud,” where customers dispute legitimate charges despite having received the goods or services. Friendly fraud involves genuine customers falsely claiming disputes on their legitimate purchases, posing a significant financial threat to merchants. To mitigate these risks while ensuring a smooth purchasing experience, businesses must balance effective fraud prevention with customer-friendly policies, emphasizing customer education, robust support, and clear communication about transactions.

To read more about this issue, see this post on PYMNTS, a site that provides data, news and insights on innovation in payments and the platforms powering the connected economy.

Some Cities Offering Discounted Rates to Fill Retail Vacancies

Empty storefront, illustration.

Cities like Seattle and Austin are repurposing vacant retail and office spaces to support small businesses and artisans by offering them at discounted rates, making it easier for them to establish a physical presence. These initiatives aim to revitalize commercial districts and increase economic opportunities for local entrepreneurs who might otherwise be unable to afford traditional long-term leases. To read more about these initiatives, see this piece in Small Business Trends.

SBA Announces Grant Funding for New Women’s Business Centers

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced $30 million in funding opportunities for Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), including a new center in the U.S. Virgin Islands and first-time funding for WBCs specializing in federal contracting and child care businesses. The initiative aims to expand virtual services, support socially and economically disadvantaged women, and enhance the SBA’s reach, especially in underserved communities, through an unprecedented network of 152 WBCs across the U.S. and its territories. Read more in the SBA’s press release on this initiative.

Why You Might Consider a Shop On Etsy

Etsy, originally an artisanal marketplace, has grown into a major platform for creative entrepreneurs, boasting a $3.5B+ valuation as of 2015. The user-friendly setup and management, along with potential for significant supplemental income, make it an attractive option for those looking to monetize their crafts amid rising living costs. See this piece in Essence for more info.

How Small Businesses Can Leverage Facebook/Meta

A Facebook presence is highly beneficial for small businesses, offering tools to promote services, increase customer support, and boost sales to its 2.91 billion users. With targeted paid campaigns and a Facebook Business Page, businesses can efficiently reach specific audiences, engage customers, and enhance their online visibility while keeping marketing costs low. To read more details about tips and tricks for effectively using Facebook for your small business, check out this article in Business News Daily.

Many Small Businesses Struggle with Marketing

Despite an improving economy and record-setting consumer spending, small businesses are struggling to effectively market their goods and services, with many overwhelmed by marketing and lacking confidence in their current strategies, as revealed by a report from Constant Contact. Factors such as economic worry and time constraints contribute to this marketing anxiety, leading to a cycle of procrastination hindering small businesses from reaching their potential.

Digital Entrepreneurship Helps Break the Glass Ceiling

The glass ceiling, a metaphor for the barrier hindering women’s advancement in business, remains a persistent challenge despite some individual successes. According to this opinion piece in Entrepreneur, rather than solely fighting against the system, there’s a call for women to unite, support each other, and overcome self-limiting beliefs. Digital entrepreneurship presents an opportunity for women to bypass traditional barriers and achieve success independently. Taking proactive steps, rather than just discussing the issue, is emphasized, with the hope that female empowerment will continue to grow and eventually dismantle the glass ceiling for future generations.

Documentary “Show Her The Money”

“Show Her The Money” is a documentary that addresses the plight of women entrepreneurs who aren’t getting their share of venture capital. The film follows four visionary founders as they endure uphill battles to turn their ideas into reality.  After an award-winning film festival run, the movie has embarked on a 50-city grassroots global tour. To learn more about how to catch a screening, see this link.

Tory Burch Foundation in Partnership with Bank of America Launches Virtual Program to Support Women Entrepreneurs

The Tory Burch Foundation, in collaboration with Bank of America, is intensifying its support for female entrepreneurs by launching a new virtual program offering webinars, business resources, and networking tools, while also celebrating a milestone of deploying over $100 million to more than 5,500 female founders through increased loan access, aiming to address the capital hurdle faced by women in business and emphasizing the economic impact of empowering female entrepreneurs. Read more about the initiative in this article in Inc.